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Digital asset management: a solution for marketing

This article appears in the issue October 2012, [Vol 21 Issue 9]
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Digital asset management (DAM) spans a wide range of applications, from high-end broadcast and video management to departmental use for storing basic images. One of the most dynamic areas for DAM systems is in marketing, including sourcing rich media for websites and providing access to collateral such as logos and brochures. Improved workflow capability (see sidebar following online article). and integration with Web content management (WCM) systems are helping to support those initiatives.

Intersil designs and manufactures integrated circuits for computers and handheld devices used in the automotive, medical and space industries, among others. With more than 3,000 different products and 1,000 patents, Intersil has a strong focus on innovation. Its website provides detailed information about its products, including specifications and technical videos. In addition, an interactive simulator allows prospective customers to design their own chips.

Up until last year, Intersil was using a homegrown system to manage its Web content, which entailed a demanding manual process for locating and posting the appropriate digital assets. "We wanted a solution that would tightly integrate the Web content management with a digital asset management system," says Agha Mehdi, senior Web business strategist. "That way we could maintain the assets in an organized way and make sure the website reflected the most recent version of each file."

Tagging strategy

Intersil was already using Adobe Creative Suite for developing collateral and technical documentation, so Adobe CQ, the foundation of Adobe's Web Experience Management solution, was one of the products Intersil considered. It had the deep integration between the WCM system and the DAM system that was a priority for the company. Adobe CQ also had other features that Intersil wanted, such as auto-generated thumbnails and a flexible workflow.

The system was rolled out in the first quarter of 2012, and Intersil began migrating content from a legacy repository that contained technical documents, and from a variety of locations where images and other content were stored. "The most challenging part was mapping the files to devices using tags because the technical specifications vary from device to device," Mehdi says. "In order to take full advantage of DAM and CMS integration, we had to create a tagging strategy very carefully to relate different tech docs to devices."

One of the biggest advantages to the new system was the tagging capability. "All the content, including data sheets, images and videos are now tagged with keywords," continues Mehdi, "so we can find it easily and associate it with documents on each page of the website." Adobe CQ's workflow allows for automatic updating of the website once the appropriate approvals have been applied, and the system can create the proper rendition for each platform, such as desktop computers, tablets and smart phones.

More than storage

Over time, Intersil plans to use Adobe CQ's DAM system to support other applications, such as sales force automation and customer relationship management (CRM). "Adobe CQ has APIs that allow us to easily integrate with third-party systems," Mehdi says. "We will build these outside of CQ but will pull the digital assets from the DAM." In addition, Intersil plans to incorporate Adobe Bridge to link from assets being developed in Adobe Creative Suite directly to Adobe CQ, storing new assets in the DAM system as they are created.

Although Adobe CQ can be used in a variety of ways, its primary focus is as a marketing solution. "The term ‘marketing' has a much broader definition in the context of the digital space," says Loni Stark, director of product and solution marketing at Adobe. "It is not just about advertising-it is really about customer experience. How do you use content to communicate with people in a meaningful way?" Digital asset management has become much less static, and is now focused not just on storage but also on sharing and distribution, as well as personalization of the user experience.

The combination of rich media and social media can be a potent force. "People are now putting up their own videos about how they used a product," Stark says. "Since consumers have a high level of confidence in testimonials of their peers, these evaluations can be very effective. User-generated content can be uploaded into a digital asset system and then, with the proper permissions, be used in a company's marketing campaign."

Global reach

When Bill Lightfoot joined Lutronic as manager of global Web-based marketing earlier this year, one of his top priorities was to set up a DAM system for the company's digital files. Lutronic produces lasers and devices used in hospitals and doctors' offices for cosmetic and medical treatments. The company wanted a cloud-based system to provide its network of salespeople and distributors with access to technical and marketing materials. "Ease of use was essential," says Lightfoot, "and we needed a multilingual product, since we are a global company."

Having used several other DAM systems, Lightfoot had specific features in mind that would match Lutronic's requirements. "We wanted to share all types of files, from office documents to PDFs, presentations, videos and images," he explains. "Global sharing meant a Web-based product, but solid security was critical. Finally, we needed a multilingual product so our global partners in other countries could access content in their native language." WebDAM Solutions met all the requirements. 

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